Donald Trump Likely Knew About Bombing Suspect Being Identified When He Went On Twitter Rant Against CNN

Donald Trump already knew that investigators had identified the suspect in a spate of attempted bombings when he went on a middle-of-the-night Twitter rant against CNN and later cast doubt on whether the bombs were genuine.

Early on Friday, federal investigators announced that they had apprehended Cesar Sayoc, Jr. and charged him with sending a series of bombs to top Democrats and others who are frequent targets of Donald Trump. As MSNBC security analyst Matthew Miller noted, Trump had likely been briefed hours before about the suspect being identified, yet still went on Twitter to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the attacks.

“Based on [FBI Director Christophe Wray’s] remarks, the FBI had identified Sayoc by late last night,” Miller wrote on Twitter. “Surely they briefed the WH immediately. Might explain Trump’s losing it on Twitter at 3:14 am.”

Miller was referring to Trump’s very early morning tweet taking aim at CNN. In the tweet, Trump lamented that the network and others were able to criticize him yet he felt attacked when he struck back.

Later in the morning, and roughly an hour before the FBI announced Sayoc’s arrest, Trump wrote another tweet that appeared to cast doubt on the entire series of attempted bombings.

To many, this tweet appeared to be feeding into conspiracy theories pushed by conservative media figures that the bombings were a “false flag” attack perpetrated by liberals in order to gain an edge in the upcoming midterm elections. A number of people shared these ideas, including the president’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., who “liked” a tweet falsely claiming that the bombs were fake. Law enforcement have confirmed that the bombs contained live explosives.

Another popular conservative media figure, Candace Owens, wrote a number of statements claiming that she believed the bombings were perpetrated by liberals. Owens attended a White House event on Friday and was singled out for praise by Trump.

The suspect named in the attempted bombings, Cesar Sayoc, is a registered Republican and appeared to be an ardent supporter of Donald Trump. Video showed him at a Trump rally last year.

In a statement to reporters on Friday, Donald Trump claimed he did not know about Sayoc’s support of him or the white van identified as Sayoc’s that was covered in right-wing paraphernalia. One of the stickers on the van outlined the political figures who are frequently attacked by Trump — the same ones who received the makeshift bombs in the mail.

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